Mercer Memories: Meredith Talmage

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Meredith Talmage, Mercer alumna, received her BA in English with a concentration in secondary education and a minor in art in 2009.  Upon graduation, she spent a few years in Macon with the Wesley Foundation.  Finishing her teaching certification through Mercer in 2014, she began her first year as a high school English teacher in the fall of 2014.

Looking back on her years at Mercer, Talmage’s favorite memories are innumerable.  In her words, “My years at Mercer have been some of best to date.” What she remembers the most, however, is the seemingly ordinary moments, such as “sledding down the hill in front of the UC,” of which many current upperclassmen have fond memories.  She remembers all the Mercer must-do’s: “going to nearly every event that involved a free t-shirt, ‘studying’ at the library till 2:00 a.m. (and) late night Taco Bell/Waffle House runs.”

Of course, there was more to her years at Mercer than the silly moments.  Talmage also enjoyed the academics that Mercer had to offer. Mercer prides itself on its low faculty-to-student ratio, providing students close relationships with the professors in the learning environment.  Talmage agrees, “Regardless of subject matter, I felt like the teachers were actively committed to making students successful. Even in my largest classes in lecture halls, I never felt like a number.” Acknowledging a common struggle among students, she recalls, “Although 8:00 a.m. classes were hard to get up for, I genuinely enjoyed going to my classes.”

Since Talmage majored in English, she gave glowing recommendations of the English department. Reminiscing about her upper-level classes, she said, “I fell in love with literature in a whole new way thanks to the wonderful English department.” One class in particular, a course on William Shakespeare, came to mind: “I might not have known how much I could love sweet William if it was not for Dr. Senasi.”

One of Mercer’s greatest qualities, however, is its “sense of belonging,” which Talmage claimed makes this university special.

In the short time since Talmage graduated, Mercer has seen several vast changes. Last spring, Talmage made a day trip to Mercer and was surprised to find that the campus had improved its already beautiful appearance. She remembers enjoying the beauty of the campus while studying on Porter Patch (what is now Cruz Plaza) and the Quad, but now it is “even more beautiful.” The expansion of the sidewalk in front of the University Center, the fountain on Cruz Plaza and the Bear statue in front of the University Center were all additions that impressed her.

Also new to Mercer’s campus is the football team and stadium.  Talmage only wishes that this addition could have been made sooner. “I love football and would have loved to go to the games in college,” she said, adding with characteristic Mercer spirit, “Go Bears!”

Though much has changed, one thing remains the same: that Mercer “professors are still making a difference and educating students as they did for me. As a teacher now,” Talmage reflected,  “I think back to their influence and hope that I make them proud.” Continuing the Mercer legacy, she continued, “Also I hope I can send some well-prepared high school students their way.”

Summing up her experience, Talmage declared, “I am so grateful to Mercer and its staff for all the memories, relationships and knowledge I gained in my time there. I am proud to be a Mercerian.”